fitness · yoga

Sam Gives Aqua Yoga a Go

I love all kinds of yoga.

I’ve blogged here about goat yoga.

Last year, I went to Snow-Ga with Alpacas.

But right now I’m recovering from knee replacement surgery and so my yoga options are somewhat limited. I’m still stiff and sore some of the time and I can only stand up for so long.

When I saw that my fancy gym was starting to offer aqua yoga, I was intrigued and read a bit about yoga in swimming pools.

People holding hands in the water in a circle. Sam’s yoga class did not do this!

See Just Add Water to Yoga: Yoga in the Pool Offers Unexpected Benefits.

“Like most forms of water exercise (besides swimming), aqua yoga is super low impact, making it an ideal way for people with joint pain to improve their strength, flexibility, and range of motion. As Katherine Winge, who is trained in Aqua Kriya Yoga and teaches in Austin, Texas, explains, “The buoyant effect of the water takes the pressure of a person’s weight off the joints, alleviating pain or discomfort people may feel when exercising. Since the body bears less weight in the water, the muscles are relaxed and therefore can be stretched and strengthened with less incidence of injury. I have seen a wide variety of people benefit from aqua yoga, including those with arthritis, hip and or knee replacements, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, anxiety, depression, pre-natal, post-natal, post-surgery, people with difficulty balancing, sciatica, and beginners as well as people who already have a regular practice.”

When I saw mention of joint replacement, I thought I’d give it a try.

I was worried it would be just a slower moving aquafit class but it was not. The teacher seemed to be a very experienced yoga instructor and she moved us through various yoga flow sequences. I loved being able to do warrior poses again.

Obviously some poses worked better than others in the pool. Eagle pose and tree pose? Yes. Downward dog? Not so much.

It wasn’t easy but it was doable for me and my new knees. I liked that our bodies were underwater and no one could judge my very tentative bow pose. My knees can’t bend that far.

My only complaint was the sleepy new age yoga music but I’ve had that issue at land based yoga classes too.

Oh, and it’s not a complaint since the water is that temperature for people who are doing more vigorous movements in the pool (like in the aqua intensity class that’s also offered at the club) but I found it a bit chilly to be standing still. The instructor kept encouraging us to find our stillness and she commented that many people seemed to find hard to stay still but for me it was all about staying warm.

That said, I really enjoyed working my way through yoga postures in the pool. I’d definitely recommend it and I’ll be back.

In the meantime, I’ve booked more alpaca yoga for the end of September.

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